'Fantastic' Christmas lighting attracts crowds for inaugural event

St Michael’s Church in Oulton Community Churchyard Carols event

St Michael’s Church in Oulton expressed delight as their colourfully lit churchyard attracted crowds of people for their inaugural Community Churchyard Carols event. - Credit: Mick Howes

A churchyard was illuminated as innovative, dramatic lighting attracted a fine turnout for an inaugural village event.

The congregation of St Michael’s Church in Oulton expressed delight as their colourfully lit churchyard attracted crowds of people for their first Community Churchyard Carols event.

The church in Oulton was illuminated with professional lighting equipment operated by students from Sir John Leman High School in Beccles as St Michael’s community outdoor churchyard carols event was held on Sunday, December 12.

St Michael’s Church Oulton Community Churchyard Carols event

St Michael’s Church in Oulton expressed delight as their colourfully lit churchyard attracted crowds of people for their inaugural Community Churchyard Carols event. - Credit: Mick Howes

Team vicar designate for the Oulton Broad Team Ministry, Rev Andy Bunter, said: “The lights are absolutely fantastic and it’s a brought a wonderful sense of community for people to turn out to and enjoy singing together.

"We have been blessed with good weather, and generous parishioners all raising money for the Tear fund and St Michael’s Parish.

"This is a great support for our mission abroad and our mission at home.”

St Michael’s Church Oulton Community Churchyard Carols event

St Michael’s Church in Oulton expressed delight as their colourfully lit churchyard attracted crowds of people for their inaugural Community Churchyard Carols event. - Credit: Mick Howes

Parishioner Richard Louis Ainslie, who is also a teacher of religious studies at Sir John Leman High School, was behind the lights.

He said: “When I was 17 I became a professional lighting manager for St Georges Theatre in Great Yarmouth and then at Butlins in Skegness.

Most Read

"Lighting is something I have a keen interest in and some of my students share my enthusiasm.

"They have been learning from people who have a lot of experience in the entertainment industry."

He added: "Six students are operating the lights in the churchyard, getting practical experience and extending their knowledge of event lighting - with the lead student going on to do a lighting degree next year.

"We are using colour battens which I bought from the set of the Star Wars film recorded in Bedford.

"We are also using spotlights and floodlights from the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire studio and two other spotlights which were touring on Strictly Come Dancing show last year.”

St Michael’s Church Oulton Community Churchyard Carols event

St Michael’s Church in Oulton expressed delight as their colourfully lit churchyard attracted crowds of people for their inaugural Community Churchyard Carols event. - Credit: Mick Howes

Rev Bunter added: “We didn’t know how many people would come but we are thrilled that the churchyard, as a venue that can accommodate people at this current time, is full with more people than would fit into the church, this is brilliant."

With the carol singers accompanied by the St Mark's Church brass band ensemble, led by Marilyn Zipfel, mince pies and hot chocolate were also enjoyed.

A parishioner added: "It’s a great colourful start to our Christmas.”